Malawi gay activist arrested

By |2010-02-18T09:00:00-05:00February 18th, 2010|News|

A gay activist in Malawi, Peter Sawali, was arrested in early February for putting up posters in the city of Blantyre that said “Gay rights are human rights,” according to the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights.
He was later convicted of conduct likely to cause breach of the peace and sentenced to two months’ cleaning duty at the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court.
The arrest came on the heels of the arrest and jailing of a Blantyre gay couple who staged a public engagement ceremony.
Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were taken into custody in December and remain jailed awaiting trial.
They could face 14 years behind bars if found guilty of “unnatural offenses” and “indecent practices between males.”
Police subjected Chimbalanga to a forced medical exam to purportedly determine if he’s had gay sex.
“Using post-colonial laws to oppress citizens instead of protecting them is unworthy of any sovereign nation in the world,” said Intergroup Co-President Michael Cashman. “Given that Malawi is now chairing the African Union, it is incumbent upon them to uphold the human rights of all their citizens, and that includes lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”

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